The lack of physical activity in the general population is recognized internationally as an important societal issue. For apparently healthy adults, inactivity leads to overweight, and increased risk of numerous chronic and acute diseases including coronary heart disease, type 2 diabetes, as well as breast and colon cancers.
This Thesis deals with the promotion of daily life physical activity — walking, cycling, gardening, or housework — all the activities regularly performed in everyday life that require a person to move his body. In recent years, researchers and policy makers have focused on technology as a tool to deliver coaching on physical activity. Technology in the form of web sites or smartphone applications can be used to reach many people at low costs in order to enable self-care for patients (eHealth) or to provide technology-mediated professional care in the home environment (Telemedicine).
Although the popularity of physical activity tracking and motivation is apparent in both research and commercial areas, the effectiveness of the coaching mechanism employed are far from perfect. It is widely believed that coaching strategies can be improved by catering to individual users’ needs and preferences, a field of research known as tailoring or personalization. What tailoring is, and how it can be applied in the field of real-time coaching on everyday physical activity, are some of the issues addressed in this Thesis…